- (Photo: Reuters/Tim Wimborne)
Political leaders, school officials and parents are all fuming over a new program introduced in the Australian school system that is aiming to normalize homosexuality.
The Australian department of education is implementing a new pilot program called "Proud Schools" in an effort to normalize young children's attitudes about homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
But many senior government officials have labeled the new school program as "propaganda" and have vowed to eliminate all government funding for the program. Religious leaders have also called for the program to end and stress that normalizing sin is not in a child's best interest.
"I'm totally opposed to the brainwashing of high school students, especially when they are going through puberty," Fred Nile of the Christian Democratic Party told The Sydney Telegraph.
During a meeting of the Proud Schools steering committee, school officials explained that the new program would focus on diminishing the "the dominance of heterosexism rather than on homophobia." The program defines "heterosexism" as the practice of "positioning heterosexuality as the norm for human relationship," according to the Proud Schools Consultation Report.
The program was first introduced in 2010 by former Education Minister Verity Firth and had been previously endorsed by current New South Wales Education Minister Adrian Piccoli.
Piccoli stated that the goal to "[stamp] out homophobic bullying" is similar to another program called "Safe Schools Coalition" that has been established in Victoria. However, he admitted that "no teaching and learning curriculum materials have been developed that are specific to the Proud Schools pilot."
The Proud Schools program makes schools give 12-year-olds personal development, health, and physical education classes to introduce the children to homosexuality.
Critics, though, are concerned that this would lead to younger kids becoming more confused over the nature of homosexual relationships.
"Homosexuals at most make up 2 percent of the population – I don't know why the education department would give priority to promoting this … we will have more confused teenagers than ever … children should be allowed to develop themselves," Nile said.
There has been a valiant effort to stamp out bullying and discrimination in Australia, but critics of this new program contend that the extreme application and politically correct nature of the program may produce the opposite effect.